What is conspiracy theory? It is a theory about two or more people conspiring against at least a third. There have been have many proven theories throughout history. The evidence that people do sometimes conspire against each other is so enormous, it indicates that people who disparage it have had a fully alien set of life experiences, or more likely, are attempting to distort a basic truth. That conspiracy theories can be correct and lower personal risk if acted upon. As a simple thought experiment, team sports are inherently conspiratorial. Every competitive game played coherently by more than three players with any strategy or tactics whatsoever has been to some degree conspiratorial.
If it is clearly useful even to the simplest decision making, where does disdain for it come from? Conspiracy theory is feared because excessive theory creation is a symptom of paranoid schizophrenia. Where the person suffering from it, will attach a malicious intent to most and sometimes even all actions of others. This level of mistrust makes it impossible to participate in the inherent trusts of society (like freedom or friendship.) Since the metamind’s alerts are so over-active, the rational mind never develops properly. Trapped in desperate race to rationalize a flood of emotional warnings. The worst cases of paranoid schizophrenia are a form of insanity, and may end in injuries and deaths. Fears of an extreme paranoid, while often casually or even satirically misdiagnosed, are justified when one does actually occur.
Schizophrenia, the over-active conscience.
So what is Schizophrenia? Like most disease it is a spectrum. The metamind (the conscience) as a risk engine makes this easier to understand. If the metamind is too active, it’s owner struggles. Preparing against enemies with no purchase or little impact. Suffering from various levels of paranoia. In the most extreme case preparing against enemies that don’t exist.
What advantage in natural selection does a spectrum have? Civgene helps put this in perspective. Psychopaths pre-date non psychopath humans. The number of psychopaths and their subsequent influence on societies barbarism, is highly variable. Their population grows until they collapse a society and it’s economy. A highly active metamind is paranoid in times of few psychopaths, and highly useful at psychopath saturation. An individual with mild schizophrenia (a more active metamind), has natural resistance to psychopathy in others.
Since the utility of conspiracy theory is subject to an external factor, the reverse is true as well. A person with a least active conscience lands at the other end of spectrum. The mental risk manger is less active than it needs to be or in the worst case entirely absent. It fails to warn the rational mind about clear and present dangers. The level of warning that would be a good fit in a society with few psychopaths, fails to detect conspiracies in a the corrupt one.
Why is abphrenia a disorder at all? Trust can be a positive attribute in a trustworthy environment, but puts us at risk of protopsychopathy outside of one. Emotional manipulation can reprogram the conscience that doesn’t protect itself. Marketing, propaganda, and gaslighting are just a few common ways this can happen. An underactive metamind puts it’s owner at risk of membership in cult, be it political or religious.
Once someone is a protopsychopath, their conscience is owned and controlled by a person or organization of people outside themself. So long as this control remains, they can be made to act perpetually against their own self interest. In this light it is easy to see how a mildly paranoid metamind is a genetic advantage. Conspiracy theories, in moderation or mild excess, protect you from emotional control. Avoiding this situation entirely.
While paranoid schizophrenics are obvious, clashing with reality with strange views and actions, abphreniacs are usually passive and subtle. How do you detect their condition? If they have been captured as protopsychopaths, which is likely in corrupted society, it should be fairly easy. Protopsychoapthy captures the entire metamind. Not only ensnaring the risk manager and reprogramming it with false risks, but capturing the imagination as well. Lack of ability to cite personal (unpopular) conspiracy theories, or the ability to contrive one on demand, indicates their subconscious is not their own. If they can not it is likely that a psychopath or cult lurks in their past or present, controlling their ideas of risk.
Repair and progress
Not only can conspiracy theories be constructive, but their complete absence indicates emotional mind control. The good news is that the metamind is to varying strengths anti-fragile. When exposed to new emotional data, all but the strongest cases of protopsychopathy will fade or collapse. The protopsychopath’s subconscious mind is not a two way radio. If you are fighting a protopsychoapths programming head on, you are fighting a ghost. Their program, if clever enough, was told in advance to look out for all new sources of information as defectors. They will attack the people that try to help them most. Rather than confront a protopsychopath directly, introduce them to information sources you trust. Use inverse gaslighting techniques not to program them but to break their spell. Subtly introducing small doses of truth and letting their subconscious fold them into their entire calculation. A matchbook from an old neighborhood. An open window on a holiday. A memory of a success. A night on the town with family. Well timed humor. A kind word. A ‘forgotten’ magazine turned to the right page. Any kindness in view. Subtle repetition.
One day, with luck, the scales will be tipped, and their metamind will once again be open to new ideas, outside of others control. If their abphrenia is not too severe, their freedom will be permanent.